Mark Watches ‘Pushing Daisies’: S01E04 – Pigeon

In the fourth episode of the first season of Pushing Daisies, a plane crash brings about anxiety in Ned and opportunity for Olive. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Pushing Daisies.


  • This is a murder mystery inside of a fairy tale which is inside another fairy tale. Seriously, there’s the mystery of the plane crass, which leads to the epic love story of Jackson and Elsita, which is all framed by the ongoing tale of Ned’s magical ability to raise the dead. And yet there’s this persistent strain of tragedy throughout “Pigeon.” Chuck longs for physical intimacy with Ned. Ned worries that he’ll one day lose Chuck because he can never touch her. Vivian and Lily wish they could escape their fears. Olive is quickly realizing the futility of chasing after Ned. Then there’s the story that opens this episode, explaining Digby’s dedication to his master, and I was done in the first five minutes of this.
  • Damn y’all.
  • Beads?
  • BEES.
  • I commented in the last review that the nature of Ned’s power leads to a lot of satisfying suspense in the narrative, and there’s another example here. NEVER HAVE I BEEN FRIGHTENED BY A PIGEON BEING HELD NEAR ANOTHER CHARACTER. But that’s a fear we have to have, you know? Given that Olive doesn’t know about Ned’s power, we have to worry about how that will unfold if Ned’s secret is exposed. AND IT ALMOST WAS! Then Ned, Emerson, and Chuck had to worry if a living bird was somehow worth a human life being extinguished, because wouldn’t that be messed up? Instead, it seems that another bird dies, which set in motion a complicated chain of events that results in… well, the end of “Pigeon.” Which I’ll get to! Oh god, I just realized how similar that idea is to Wonderfalls. Technically, this episode is also one giant Rube Goldberg device. Oh shit.
  • Anyway, one of my absolute favorite things in this episode is Olive’s story. I’m enamored with her and the characterization that Fuller and the other writers give her. It would be incredibly easy to simply make her bitter and jealous and to play that off of Chuck’s cheeriness. However, I adore that they make her sympathetic, that they’ve chosen to show that she’s a good person who is lonely and maybe a little bit desperate. For as much as she tries to find a way to expose Chuck’s “lie,” she ultimately knows that the heartbreak she’ll cause to her new friends won’t be worth the possibility of getting to Ned. And that’s all that is at this point: a possibility. But her friendship with Lily and Vivian? That’s reality, and I adore that she values her friends over her own selfish desires for Ned.
  • Can I also definitively state that Emerson’s constant I AM SO FUCKING DONE WITH Y’ALL look gives me life? How many times does he throw up his hands in defeat as Chuck and Ned decide to be all romantic and lovey-dovey in front of him? In all seriousness, I think it’s a great way to address the romance present in this fairy tale in a way to bring humor to the show. Emerson has his own interests and desires – most of them involving knitting because he’s a perfect human being – and it feels like he’s commenting on how ridiculous this love story is. But I like that it’s ridiculous! Still, I’m with Emerson: Sometimes, these two lovebirds are just too much.
  • Well, they’re too much in a few ways. I can’t believe that someone has managed to pull of a relationship like this on television! I mean, it should fail! There are too many rules between Chuck and Ned, and yet the two still try their hardest to make it work. That’s why it’s important that Chuck explore the problem she has with being unable to touch Ned. The scene where she holds Jackson’s hand is so upsetting not because she’s being unfaithful to Ned. (She’s clearly not.) It’s a way for the writers to convey the importance Chuck holds for physical affection. WHICH I UNDERSTAND ON A VERY DEEP LEVEL. Until she had the option taken away from her, I bet Chuck never thought how much she’d want it. So she holds Jackson’s hand, and she imagines what the sensation would be like to feel Ned’s skin against hers.
  • Thanks for driving the knife deeper into my heart, Pushing Daisies.
  • The visuals in “Pigeon” are even more colorful and fantastic than the last episode. I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
  • And the Jackson/Elsita storyline was a nice touch to highlight how the dedication towards love can surmount the most impossible of problems.
  • BUT I’M HERE FOR ROOFTOP DANCING IN BEEKEEPER SUITS. Ugh, this is fucking ridiculous. I can’t believe I’ve become so attached to a couple bound for tragedy. DAMN IT.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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